Google shows off an early look at Chrome OS’s Project Athena

July 18, 2014
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project-athena

Even before Google announced Material Design and their plans to bring it to both Chrome OS and Android, there were signs that Google was preparing a new window manager for Chrome OS dubbed Athena. Now Google’s Francois Beaufort has shared a screenshot of what this Athena redesign will look like.

Now it’s important to note that this is a “first draft” and therefore the look is subject to change. With that out of the way, you can see that the interface employs a new stacked card interface that is somewhat akin to the new ‘recents menu’ in Android L Developer Preview and seems to fall in line with the overall Material Design layout. While I personally think the colors used make the interface a bit ugly, we have to remember that Google is still working on the effort and that it will likely be much more refined when it arrives to Chrome OS later this year.

What else can we expect from the new UI? Previous reports indicate Athena will be better optimized for touchscreen-based Chromebooks and a split-screen mode. For those that want to experience the work in progress for themselves, Beaufort leaves the following instructions:

By simply checking out the chromium source code and compiling the convenient “athena_main” target with ninja -C out/Release athena_main, you’ll be able to follow the Work In Progress.

Bearing in mind that this is a work in progress, what do you think of the new Athena window manager so far?

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